Biathlon miracle: Kazakevich again performed three penalty loops, but still won gold
Tatyana Postnikova September 17, 2023, 16:45 Moscow time Audio version: Your browser does not support the audio element.
Anastasia Shevchenko led her teammates to victory in the relay.
At the Russian Summer Championships the classic relay races ended. The women’s team of the Sverdlovsk region won an incredible victory after three penalties from Irina Kazakevich! The men’s race was won by the Bashkortostan team with Eduard Latypov and Anton Babikov.
The main contenders for medals in the men’s relay were the teams of KhMAO-Yugra – 1 (Dmitry Ivanov, Pyotr Pashchenko, Mikhail Burundukov and Nikita Porshnev), the Tyumen region – 1 (Evgeny Garanichev, Alexander Povarnitsyn, Alexander Loginov and Vyacheslav Maleev) and the Republic of Bashkortostan (Ilya Burlakov, Anton Babikov, Alexander Babchin and Eduard Latypov).
These teams competed for prizes against each other. Although initially not all potential medalists started the race with great success. At the first stage, representatives of Tyumen were only in the top ten, while Ugra and Bashkortostan occupied the fifth or sixth position. In the second stage, Povarnitsyn put his team in the lead, Babikov lifted his team to third place, and Pashchenko brought Yugra’s team to fourth place.
Latypov took revenge on Paschenko for losing in the sprint:
A ruling deprived Latypov of gold again! Spectacular sprint at the Russian Championship
At the end of the third stage, the favorites secured a place in the top three and then it was up to them to resolve it among themselves. The last shootout decided everything: Latypov worked to zero and Maleev and Porshnev made a mistake. As a result, the Bashkirs won (0 rounds + 7 additional rounds), the Tyumen team took second (0+4), losing 18 seconds, and the Ugra team took third (0+6), losing 40.2 seconds in front to the leaders.
“We have already worked out this arrangement, when there will be two leaders in the second and fourth stages, in winter. So if someone crashed something somewhere, we could fix it and there wouldn’t be a huge delay. It is clear that we can also make mistakes, but it is a good agreement and it works,” Babikov explained.
The women’s race was much more interesting and dramatic, although the favorites also competed for the medals. Before the relay, the main contenders for the podium were KhMAO-Yugra – 1 (Kristina Reztsova, Ekaterina Noskova, Alina Kudisova and Elizaveta Kaplina), the Sverdlovsk region (Natalia Shevchenko, Irina Kazakevich, Anastasia Shevchenko and Tamara Derbusheva) and the Tyumen (Kristina Schneider, Ulyana Nigmatullina, Elena Kruchinkina and Victoria Slivko).
In the first stage, Schneider managed to maintain first place with only two special stages. Reztsova, who returned from maternity leave, and former skier Shevchenko fared a little worse, finishing in fifth or sixth place. Kristina has three penalties and is 26.4 seconds behind, Natalia has four penalties and is 28.5 seconds behind the leader.
In the second stage, the designs changed. Noskova led KhMAO-Yugra – 1 to second position. The team lost just 6.1 seconds to the second team in its region. Nigmatullina, who returned after the birth of her daughter, managed not to lose seriously, keeping the Tyumen region in the top three (+9.7). But Kazakevich seemed to “bury” the Sverdlovsk region. Irina took three penalty loops, increasing the team’s lead to one minute.
The shooting does not spoil the first race Kazakevich:
Unusual surprise for Kazakevich in the first race of the season: he won the sprint with three penalties
a true miracle
There was a feeling that nothing could save the women of Sverdlovsk, but a miracle happened. In the third leg, Anastasia Shevchenko played one minute and gave her team the lead back. This was facilitated by a single error on two points and serious errors from the opponents. Alina Kudisova committed six penalties, entered the penalty zone and left the Ugra team in second position (+2.4). Former Belarusian Elena Kruchinkina made two mistakes and did not show the most impressive speed, but she kept her place in the top three (+11.5).
On the last stage, Tamara Derbusheva managed to retain first place and win gold for the Sverdlovsk region (3 laps + 10 additional rounds). But Kaplina and Slivko staged a real duel for silver. Elizabeth turned out to be stronger. Not only did she surpass Victoria in distance, but she also tried to catch Tamara on the last lap! But it does not work. KHMAO-Yugra – 1 came second (1+16), losing 14.1 seconds to the leader. The Tyumen region (0+6) closed the top three, losing 24.8 seconds to the winner.
Great interview with Victoria Slivko:
“Honestly, I wanted to quit a couple of times.” Lightning interview with the best biathlete in Russia.
“It’s really difficult when a fiasco like that happens at the corner,” Kazakevich said. – But still, the relay is a team race. I need to change something in my head, because it often happens when I arrive as the leader of the team, in a relay race, and I can’t cope. I can’t say what’s wrong exactly. They are probably emotions, experiences, although I don’t feel them at the moment. I’m lucky that we have a very strong team. The girls worked 150-200% today, so we were able to win.”
On September 19, individual races will be held at the Russian Summer Championship. The men’s race starts at 9:00 Moscow time, and the women’s race at 12:00.